Decades ago, when 100% vegetable diets were first used in dogs and cats, this concern about the appearance of stones...
I feel bad about leaving my cat alone at home
Cats, those animals commonly known as independent, often spend days alone at home because we think "it's OK, they're cats", but... is this actually true?
The answer is: not always.
Several factors should be taken into account when leaving our cat home alone:
- We should always buy another water bowl or fountain so that, if one is knocked over, the other one remains. Besides, we will have to wait a few days to confirm that it has accepted this new water bowl.
- We should do the same with the food bowls. We should even consider an automatic dispenser for both feed and water, always making sure that our kitty accepts it.
- We should consider where our cat tends to hide and whether it can be accidently trapped.
- The litter box is another problem to take into account, because when it is dirty enough, cats tend to stop using it and do their business where they think is best. So we should leave several trays around the house so that it can easily do its business in the right place.
- Cats can also suffer from separation anxiety, so it would be best if a friend could visit our flat once a day to check that everything is in order and to play with him for a while. If we have had a cat since it was a small baby, we should get it used to small absences to avoid separation anxiety.
- It is also vital to leave them toys that they can play with on their own. The more the better. If our friend has offered to come over once a day, it will be interesting to bring new toys everyday and hide the ones already used in order to bring the novelty factor with them: cats get tired quickly. Environmental recreation is also essential for our cat: high towers, scratching posts, three-dimensional space in which to climb or perch, comfortable and safe hiding places, etc.
- We must take our outings into account depending on whether our cat is old or young and/or needs medication. If this is the case, we should not go out for very long periods of time or it will be essential that our friend comes to our house them the medication if our cat allows them to do so.
- Last but not least, the temperament of our cat will be decisive as to whether or not we can leave it alone for many hours/days or not. Some cats are extremely clingy and find it difficult to even be in another room, so we either have to gradually accustom them to our absence (starting with minutes, then hours, etc.) or we cannot leave them alone.
Alba Serrano, canine and feline psychologist and Master in Clinical Ethology from the UAB, @enlamentedelosanimales.